tv International Programming CSPAN December 19, 2010 9:00pm-9:30pm EST
hearings and policy forums. also, supreme court oral arguments. on saturdays, the communicators, and on sundays, newsmakers, "q&a", and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch programming any time at c-span.org. it is all searchable at our c- span video library. public service, created by america's cable companies. >> mr. speaker, he is breaking his promise and he does not want to admit it. he wants to leave it to the deputy prime minister. it is time the front end took some responsibility.
to turn it into an enterprise zone. >> questn fothe prime minister. heidi alexander. >> number one, mr. speaker. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this point i had meetings and in addition to my duties in this house i shall have further such meetings later today. >> heidi alexander. >> thank you, mr. speaker. time and time again the prime minister has said he wants to protect the poorest and most vulnerable whilst reducing the budget deficit. so -- [shouting] >> so can the prime minister -- [shouting] >> so can the prime minister explain to me and residents of my constituencywhy he is
keeping huge cuts upon local he tends to spend half of the federal budget on child fundingon, and servic for the in our schools, the per pupil funding will be maintained at 6951 pounds per pupil. that is the 10th highest in the country, recognizing the level of deprivation. on top of that for the first time in our history we will be adding a pupil premium. >> the bbc reports that german finance minister wants to set an interest rate to punish ireland. will the prime minister confirm that this country wants to help ireland? >> my right honorable friend will be setting out the details,
in the second reading of the bill today but i think it is worth standing back and asking ourselves why is that we are able to make a loan to ireland and wiser people are asking us to do that? it's because britain's economy is out of the danger zone and recovering. and if we listen to the party opposite we would still be in a whole. >> david miliband. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker, can i start by paying tribute to our troops serving in afghanian. we owe them a huge debt of gratitude, everything they're doing for us. our thoughts are with them and their families who will be a part common this time of the year. mr. speaker, does the prime minister cognize that concerned about the rise of unemployment of 35,000 that we saw this morning? for all those families around the country, does he understand his confidence and, indeed, his restatement today that britain is out of the danger zone being very hollow?
>> first of all let me join the right honorable friend in paying tribute to our forces in afghanistan. i visited last week there and also paying tribute to all of their families who will be missing them at christmas time. and i think to be fair, under the government he was part of and under this government we are making big improvements on the contact at home, on facts time, telephoto and all the context they need. on the unemployment figures, everyone should be concerned. i'm concerned by a rise in unemployment. anyone who loses a job is a tragedy for that person and we must do everything we can to help people into work. with the work program we will be launching the biggest back to work program in this country for 70 years. to be accurate, these are whilst part of the figures are disappointing, they are mixed because we do see the claimant count has come down in the unemployment figures and also we are seeing an increase in the number of vacancies in out economy every day. there are anoer 10,000 vacancies so yes, we've got to
get the private sector going, increase the number of jobs available, and over the last six much we have seen 300,000 new private sector jobs. we need more of them and keeping our economy out of the danger zone is the way to get them. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister does sound like he paints himself as a bystander in relation to unemployment figures. [laughter] he should not be pressing ahead with a rising vat on the fourth of january and 20 billion of public spending cuts. i want to turn to another financial plan. candi prime minier confirmhe government has now sense to break a promise made in the coalition agreement, we said we guaranteed the health spending increases in real terms in each year of the parliament? >> first of all, bing a bystander would be having no plans to deal with our economic problems.
[shouting] and the fact is is this government is cutting corporation tax, abolishing labor job tax, reducing national insurance, increasing our jobs program. and you can see no one should be complacent, but complacency is having no answers. no one should be omplacent, but we do see retail sales up, exports up, manufacturing up, interest rates coming down since the election and growth higher than expected. i'm not the slightest bit complacent about what we need to do. but let's not talk downhe performance of our economy. [shouting] >> now, turning to the nhs, we have increased the nhs budget by 10 billion pounds in this parliament. and i have to say to him there was only one party that stood on the election of saving the nhs and its spending, and it was right here. [shouting] so i am confident, i am confident that we will fulfill our goal of real terms increases
every year at the nhs. >> david miliband. >> he says he's confident. he should listen to what the conservative led health select committee said only on monday. they sai this, with inflation now higher, and i quote, the government commitment to a real-time increase in health funding will not be met. now, we all remember those during the election. we all remember his face airbrushed on those posters. will he now admitted that he is breaking that promise? >> we are not breaking that promise. [shouting] >> we want to see nhs spending increased by more than inflation every year. let me just to be clear. let me be clear about who supported this policy. the shadow chancellor sad this, it's not vague, it's pretty clear. when asked is it right to protect nhs spending, he said,
there is no logic since ur rationality to it at all. now, let's be clear. on the side of the house we want real terms increases in health spending to make sure that we approve -- improve the nation. the party opposite wants to cut it. >> i know he is good with an airbrush. he doesn't do detail. but he should read -- [laughter] >> he should read the report. he should read the report. he should read the report which says health service spending will be cannot next year in real terms. now, let me turn to his next broken promise on the nhs. he pledged on the coalition agreement says, we will stop top down we organization of the nhs that god and the way of patient care. but that is exactly what they are forcing on health service. fewer than one in four will improve. an independent expert, they will
cost3 billion pounds. after six months is at an old truth been confirmed? when it comes to the nhs you can't trust the tories. [shouting] >> that are most i think i'm up against docile brush. [laughter] >> first of all, first of all, first of all when it comes to protecting the nhs there's only one side of this house that is committed to protecting the nhs spending. that is a decide. now we come into reformed nhs. we are not reorganizing the bureaucracy of the nhs. we are cutting and abolishing the bureaucracy. [shouting] because we are making a 45% saving in the bureaucracy of the nhs that is going to save 1.9 billion pounds. because we're increasing the spending of the nhs that money will be going into hospitals and beds and nurses and doctors. all of those things would be cut
if it was up to the party opposite, but hey don't have a commitment to maintain nhs spending. >> tragedy is breaking his promise and he doesn't want to admit it. wh does he want to do? he wants to leave it to the faats by the boards, the deputy prime minister to break promises. it time for fun and took se responsibility or i want to ask him about another broken promise. thbroken promise on education maintenance allowance. [shouting] why doesn't he go a couple of miles away from you, i know he doesn't talk to students, only those in china, why doesn't he go a couple of miles away from here to southern college and talk to the student and te teachers of there? that this is a teacher there wrote to me and said this, i would've thought they want to listen to failing students and young people in this country.
i see the benefits, the educational allowance provides for many of my learners. i see how they struggle to pay the transport, books and other esseials how can we expect them to aspire to a better life if we deny them the means to do so? >> if the honorable gentleman wants to doc patton mine, it won't be very long the 40th speaking lk behind you. [laughter] >> theproblem the problem with the educational maintenance allowance is that 90%, over 90% of those who receive it would stay on at school anyway. so the fact is because we are raising the school participation age to 18, it's right read replace the educational allows with something that is targeted at but i have to say, he's got to look at the bigger picture. the bigger picture is that we inherited a completely wrecked
set of finance. and all the questions he asked, it's always about this cut or that cut. we know which cuts he's against. but he hasn't made one single suggestion of how you take the country out of the pit of debt he left us in. >> david miliband. >> truth is, mr. speaker, he began the year making promises, and now he is breaking them. the promise on nhs spenng, broken. the promise on education maintenance allowances, broken. that promise >> the truth is that the right honorable gentleman began the year making promises and now he is breaking them. the promise on nhs spending- broken; the promise on the education maintenance allowance- broken; the promise on universal child benefit-broken; the promise on knife crime-broken; and the promise on new politics-broken. should not his new year's resolution for 2011 be to keep the promises he made in 2010? >> it can be put quite simply: labor started the year with a leader who was dithering and had no answers on the economy and it has ended the year with a leader who is dithering and has no answers on the economy. i suppose, in labor terms, that is what passes for progress.
>> bletchley park trust in my >> my constituents is hoping to buy the personal papers of the heroic wartime persevered by confidence of raising the funds to buy these papers, there is a danger the option may take place before we get a chance to do so. will my right honorable friend do all he can to give the part a fair chance to secure these important documents for the nation? >> well, i would certainly like to do that because i think my honorable friend is right there he was a remarkable man come and all those people who worked at the park during the war, cracking the enigma code company of them are still alive. we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. they made a difference in where
in where in the second world war. we should price all of those. of course, i hope that private owners would support the fundraising campaign and i'm very happy to work with him to do anything i can to help make that happen. >> thank you, mr. speaker. earlier the ime minister expressed concern about unemployment. unemployment in his constituency is 1.5%. in my constituency, 7.3%. a full job center is available decided to close down. this can not need any test of fairness. will be personally review this disastrous decision to? >> i wld very happily look at the discretion of job centers but the fact is through local government and other spending we do put a lot more money into the deprived areas in our country. yes, we do. and if you look, i had a little check before comig, if you look at what's happening to grant changes, for instance, comparing
my constituency, but cuts in my constituency is 27% greater than in districts i simply don't accept that this government isn't being fair and helping those who need help the most. >> tnk you, mr. speaker. all of us in this chamber would have had tragic cases of late diagnosis of cervical and common cancers that should and can be survive. the prime minister promised to do more while in opposition. now that we are in government what is my right honorable friend doing about the unacceptably low survival rate? >> he is actually right to raise this issue. the first thing we did was we made good on our promise of a cancer drugun. we put money into that kind of thousands of people who were without the drugs they needed cannot get them. them. we want to see further improvements on cancer screening, we want to see much more focus on cancer outcomes. and
>> my honorable friend is absolutely right to raise this issue. the first thing we did was to make good on our promise of a cancer drugs fund. we put money into that fund so that thousands of people who were without the drugs they needed can now get them. we want to see further improvements on cancer screening and much more focus on cancer outcomes, and unlike the labor party we are prepared to put the money in to make sure it happens. >> according to the latest statistics, children of asylum seekers have been placed in detention centers on 665 -- likely that there will be children in our detention centers this christmas. this is not a party-political point. may i ask the prime minister, on behalf of the whole house, to give a commitment that by next christmas, in 2012, there will be no children of asylum seekers in detention centers, and that there never will be again? >> the honorable gentleman has made an important point. in our coalition agreement we made a commitment to address the issue, and the deputy prime minister will make a statement tomorrow about how we will end this scandal. >> as naval aviation celebrates its centenary, will my right honorable friend guarantee that the promised transfer of 20 merlin helicopters from the raf to the fleet air arm will indeed take place?
otherwise critical mass may well be lost, and the first 100 years of a service that has defended us in peace and war may be the last 100 years. >> my honorable friend is absolutely right to raise that point. of course i will look into the issue of the merlin transfer. however, we should be clear about the fact that britain will still have the fourth largest defense budget anywhere in the world. the navy will have seven astute class submarines, 19 destroyers and frigates, 14 minesweepers and other vessels, the royal marines-obviously-and our nuclear deterrent. we will have a large and fit- for-purpose navy of which the country can rightly be proud. >> the prime minister will be aware that there are two great football clubs in north london, tottenham hotspur and enfield town. he will also be aware that spurs are considering moving across london to the east end-to the olympic park. will he join me, and the spurs fans who signed a petition
entitled "say no to 'stratford hotspur'", in urging the spurs chairman to put the club and its history before shareholder value? >> my recent experience has taught me to stay out of international football management. while paying tribute to the right honorable gentleman's club, to enfield town and, of course, to arsenal as well-i think it right to do that-i will let the club make the decision. however, it is true to say that on the olympic site there will be a fantastic stadium of which i hope one football club will take advantage. >> will the prime minister join me in thanking and expressing appreciation to the postal service workers across the united kingdom-including those -- including those whom i visited -- whom i visited in inverurie, dyce and ellen-who are struggling through snow and
ice to make their deliveries? does he agree that the mail order firms that are cancelling christmas in scotland by refusing to accept orders should recognize that they cannot and do not match the universal postal service, and that for that reason it should be secured and protected? >> the right honorable gentleman has made an extremely good point. i am sure that all members in all parts of the house-many of whom will take the opportunity to visit sorting offices this christmas-will want to record our support and thanks for the very good work that postal workers do throughout the country in ensuring that everything is delivered in time for christmas. i know that they are having a particularly difficult time in scotland. additional air and rail services have been laid on to speed the movement of mail in and out of scotland, and royal mail itself has made a big investment-of £20 million-to try to deal with the most severe weather that it has faced for 30 years. again, let us all pay tribute to those who will ensure that cards and presents are delivered on time. >> the right honorable member
for gordon is right. the situation has been horrendous in scotland, and indeed in the north of england. the only people who are delivering are those in royal mail, as the private companies have offloaded their commitments on to it. the £20 million invested by royal mail is important. will the prime minister give a straight answer to this question? will he guarantee that universal service, and will he and his friend the chancellor of the exchequer, who is sitting next to him, review royal mail's privatization and step back from it? >> the whole point of trying to get private capital and management involved in royal mail is to make the service better, and to ensure that it can go on doing all the things that we want it to do. opposition members-including the leader of the opposition- shake their heads, but the fact is that they were going to present plans in the last parliament, because even they realized that this needs to be done. >> will the prime minister join me in paying tribute to the service of the gurkhas and, especially, to my chiswick constituent, havildar lachhiman gurung, who died on 12 december aged 92? he won the victoria cross while serving with the gurkha rifles in burma in 1945, where he demonstrated outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion
to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds. >> i certainly join my honorable friend in paying tribute to the gurkhas both past and present. anyone who goes to afghanistan and sees how many gurkhas there are not just in the gurkha rifles but in some of the logistic regiments, serving our country extremely well, will know that we owe them the greatest debt of gratitude, and we must always make sure that it is paid in full. >> this has been a momentous week, with the trebling of tuition fees for students and the average decrease of 10% in grants for local councils. we have also been told this week that the chancellor has to build up a war chest of £50 billion just in time for the general election-paid for by working people and their families. that is right; that is the question. >> i am not quite sure what the question is. let me just answer the point about fees by putting this point
on the record. the institute for fiscal studies has looked carefully at our plans, and it finds by decile of graduate lifetime earnings, the government's proposals are more progressive than the current system or that proposed by lord browne. the highest earning graduates would pay more on average than both the current system and that proposed by lord browne, while lower earning graduates would pay back less. i say to the opposition, including the honorable gentleman, if they want a progressive system for tuition fee reform, that is what we offer. in terms of dealing with the deficit, it is absolutely vital that we get on top of it. that is good for everyone in this country, his constituents included. >> will the prime minister ensure that primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and all nhs bureaucracies serve patients, not their own interests? will he further ensure that the secretary of state for health
intervenes to stamp out any excessive failures caused by that unnecessary bureaucracy? >> i agree with my honorable friend, but the key is to try to get rid of so much of that bureaucracy. under the previous government, the number of managers went up faster than the number of nurses, and our aim is to reduce that bureaucracy, get rid of that bureaucracy and put power in the hands of gps and their patients, so that the decisions taken in our constituencies about hospitals and services are driven by the choices our constituents make, rather than by bureaucrats. that is the key to those reforms and why i hope everyone in the house will support them. >> is there any truth in the rumor that tomorrow the liberal democrats will move the writ for the oldham east and saddleworth by-election for 13 january, thus denying the good people of oldham a politician- free christmas and new year? is that unseemly haste over the festive season a cynical attempt by the government to avoid the wrath of the public and especially students on tuition fees, school cuts and police
cuts? >> we have got the message. the prime minister can give an answer. >> do i gather that the opposition are frightened of having an election? i would put the question the other way: why should the people of that constituency put up with not having a member of parliament, and what have you lot got to be frightened of? >> will the prime minister outline to the house the steps that the government are taking to cut through the legacy of red tape and bureaucracy that we inherited from the previous government in order to deliver real value-for-money front-line services? >> there is no doubt that regulation has got out of control in this country. that is why my right honorable friend the business secretary is introducing a new one-in, one-out rule-so that any time the government want to legislate or regulate they have to remove
a regulation first. that sort of discipline can make a real difference. >> may i put on the record my appreciation, and the appreciation of many, of the goodwill and practical neighborly support that the prime minister and chancellor have shown to ireland at this difficult time? it makes very good sense, because the irish economy, the northern ireland economy and the british economy are closely intertwined. but the economic indications are that northern ireland is still in decline and the economy is in serious need of a boost. may i ask the prime minister for his assessment of the possibility of a boost to the northern ireland economy by reducing corporation tax to 12.5%? >> the honorable gentleman makes a good point about the economy in northern ireland. we want to see it recover and grow, but everyone in northern
ireland knows that the size of the state-the size of government-in northern ireland has become too big, and we have to see a private sector recovery. we are looking at all sorts of ideas, including the enterprise zone to which my right honorable friend the secretary of state for northern ireland referred. i should also like to put on record my thanks to those northern irish members who are going to support what we are doing to help the republic of ireland in its time of need. >> the people of bromsgrove are immensely proud of our brave servicemen and women. that is why bromsgrove district council has decided to give the freedom of the district to the mercian regiment next month. will the prime minister join me in congratulating the decision of the council, and does he believe that we can all do more to honor our heroes? >> i certainly join my honorable
friend in doing that. bromsgrove is absolutely right to honor the mercian regiment in that way. he brings out an important point. yes, we have responsibility, as a government and as a house of commons, to deliver on the military covenant for our personnel in the armed services, but there is a broader responsibility on businesses, on the media, on us as individuals and on the whole country to work out what more we can do to recognize the bravery of these people who do so much on our behalf. >> there are 1,238 students at york college who come from families poor enough to qualify for a full education maintenance allowance. that is one in three at the college. the chair of governors describes the government's plans for emas as "totally unacceptable" and the replacement funding as "woefully inadequate." i know that the prime minister visits north yorkshire from time to time, will he show that he cares about social mobility and that he really is a one- nation tory by meeting people from the college to discuss- >> order. i think we have got the thrust of it. >> i absolutely accept that we have got to do more to help people to get from the very bottom to the very top. that is why we have saved the per pupil funding and why we are increasing the pupil premium. when we look at what happened over the last few years, since 2004, child poverty rose by 100,000, inequality reached the
highest level since 1961, and 5 million people were stuck on out-of-work benefits. that is why we need to change the way that we help people to get on in life, and that is exactly what we are committed to doing. >> as we approach holocaust memorial day, will the prime minister confirm that the government will generously donate to the auschwitz- birkenau restoration fund? >> i can do that. auschwitz-birkenau is a very powerful reminder of the ultimate consequences of intolerance, and it is only right that it should be preserved to bear witness to the deaths of the millions of victims who perished there and to act as a stark reminder of man's inhumanity to man. the director of the auschwitz- birkenau foundation has recently visited the uk to discuss funding with a number of government departments, and we are also involved in eu discussions. i think everyone in this house knows how important it is to maintain these memorials. we obviously remember the holocaust, but we must also
remember that there have been other acts of gross inhumanity more recently. we have to go on remembering to stop that happening again. >> will the prime minister tell the house whether, when he appointed the ex-member for arundel and south downs to the other place, he knew his thoughts on state benefits being an incentive to breed? is that another example of the new politics the prime minister promised the country? >> i do not know how long that one took to think up. the former honorable member, who is now a member of the house of lords, completely withdrew those comments and apologized for what he said, which was completely unacceptable. i am prepared to leave it at that. >> is my right honorable friend aware of the concern of many people at reports in the press that he plans to support high-